I am writing this in utter disbelief, with tears rolling down my cheeks, splashing the keys on my laptop and moistening my angrily tapping fingertips.
Six months ago, I shared with you all how our house move had fallen through very close to the end. Whilst heartbroken and raw, I read it back now with shock at how positive I was, even then, in what felt like a very dark moment. Of course I could write then with the hope that this sort of thing never happens twice? Surely that is unheard of? Surely the next house we find will be THE one? Turns out I was wrong. I know I’ve lost all perspective, but honestly, right now I feel like moving house is impossible.
This time around we were in a chain of six, but we’d got even closer. A few weeks ago everyone was talking about moving this very Friday (22nd June). We had a date! We had started arranging childcare, received quotes for removal men, cleared out the loft, the kitchen and the under stairs cupboard. My word, I’d even cleaned the oven in preparation!
However, today we found out that #3 in the chain (our buyer’s buyer) has pulled out. Our buyers are no longer proceedable. Therefore we have to put ours on the market again, which for one reason or another, will be the fifth time in 22 months. We have spent close to £2000 on trying to move and we are back to square one. Except now we lack the innocent, giddy hope we began the process with – we just feel cynical, jaded and powerless.
We have a daughter who is excited about attending a new pre-school we may never live near. We have a daughter who is excited about having a new house with a big garden and room for a swing. We have a daughter who is excited about growing beetroot and runner beans which the elderly couple we are (maybe, were?) buying from have so kindly planted for her to harvest.
We have always told her as little as possible, we have always held back from any absolutes, but she is switched on, asks questions, and listens to all our conversations. She will be playing with the cushions on the sofa and telling me how I need to remember to put them in the car to take to the new house, or she frequently asks me how we will fit their beloved bunk bed in the car. The other day I found her looking at the paint chart I’d left lying around, and she said she was deciding which colour to paint the front door of the new house. She is only three, but totally gets what is/was happening.
And today, our eldest daughter found me sobbing uncontrollably in our bedroom. It is the first time she has seen me cry. I know it is okay for them to see us vulnerable, but my word, doesn’t it just make everything hurt ten times more when you see it affecting your kids? How could these people be so fickle? Why would you spend four months trying to buy a house you don’t actually like? Who are these people and why do they keep ending up in OUR CHAINS?!!
I appreciate that all this may make me sound completely ungrateful and out of touch with all the injustice the world is currently facing. I know what we’re going through 100% pales in comparison. I know I am so blessed to have a roof over our heads, food in our fridge, a loving, kind and patient husband and safe and healthy children. But, I am still human though, and I am not perfect. I have selfish tendencies and a desire to feel rooted, to feel in control, to feel like I know what the future holds. When you’ve been living every week for the past two years with the thought that you could be moving in a few months, I can barely begin to explain how emotionally draining, all-consuming it becomes. It affects so many decisions.
You don’t know whether to invest heavily in friendships at the pre-school gate because you think you won’t be seeing them again soon. You don’t bother to plant new plants in the garden (even though the many gaps in the beds bother you every time you see them) because you think you’ll be moving in a few months. You don’t know whether to pour money into your old, broken, completely unreliable and worthless car to get it fixed, or whether you’ll be moving soon and can then get a proper family car on finance once the mortgage offer has gone through. You can’t book a holiday. You don’t know which schools to apply for. You don’t know when you can start trying for another baby.
Regarding this blog, I am very frustrated that my creativity will be on hold once again – thank you so much for sticking with me! We were getting so close to this house, I could almost smell the multiple pots of sample paint and hear the noisy sanding machine! Whilst for many a home is just a roof over their heads (and of course I am very grateful it is for us too), for me it is also part of who I am and what I love. Living in a house for two years which you cannot change because, ‘we might be moving in a few months’, has left part of me empty, wilted and SO, SO BORED. That may sound extreme to you, but I suppose for me it compares to how an athlete would feel if they were told they couldn’t exercise for two years, or if you told an author they couldn’t pen more than two sentences together or my husband he had to go vegan. I miss it dearly – it’s something I am very passionate about and I am so excited about flexing those muscles again one day.
TWO DAYS ON
As you can tell I wrote the words above when we’d just heard the news. I don’t know if I would write them in the same way now but it felt therapeutic at the time and is a raw, honest reflection of how we’ve both been feeling. I didn’t publish it there and then as I didn’t know how to finish it. We’ve had a couple of days for the news to sink in, and whilst when I ponder on all the what/ifs and uncertainties I still feel totally overwhelmed, I can of course, write with a bit more clarity now. We are still none the wiser what our lovely vendors will do (the people we are buying from), and whether we are likely to lose our house or not, but we are on the market again and along with that has come multiple distractions which can only be a good thing.
I’ve kept myself busy sprucing up the garden, cleaning windows, painting walls marked by overzealous children on their bikes and simply doing whatever possible to prepare us for house viewings again. Our children, of course, bring us joy and laughter and are great at giving you perspective when something feels all consuming. We have also been completely blessed by friends and family around us sending us kind and encouraging messages – I am so grateful we will not be moving far from them all!
So for now we are just living one day at a time. We know it ‘can’ only take one good viewing for everything to be back on track again. We are trying to live life holding onto everything loosely, guarding our hope and hearts from being hurt again.
Thank you as always for following along our very long and drawn out journey. One day we will have the keys in our hands and you will have to come at me with a box of tissues (and a paint brush!)
PS: The cover picture for this blog post is a sneak peak at half of the garden of the house we are still hoping to maybe, one day buy. I would never have to buy another plant again!